1964-10-13 - Ms. Mary Wellington, Pt. I
Summary: Mary gives Lindon a book to decipher. John makes scones. (Cassidy as ST)
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
constantine lindon cassidy 

A letter arrives for Lindon written in a fine and neat hand, each letter precisely formed and written in ruler straight lines though there are no lines on the page. The letter is a request from one Mary Elizabeth Wellington, requesting to make an appointment to speak with Lindon about a matter of some urgency. An address is given for return correspondence, but no phone number is given. The address is one in Newport, Rhode Island. The woman indicates that she'd received Lindon's name in some sort of a vision, and that while she hoped that he would not think her mad, she felt compelled to write. If he could see past the strangeness of the request, she would love to hear his reply.

Lindon sits at his desk, with its quaintly cluttered appearance, papers and knickknacks (including a lone, ordinary rock). Draped across the back of his chair is a Balinese kitten, lilac-point, while her twin sister curls up on a nearby couch. Lindon studies the letter for some time, then takes out a sheaf of stationary of excellent quality, and his own writing is precise and neat, straight. He would be interesting in meeting with Miss Wellington, though his work keeps him from coming to Rhode Island. Should she ever be in the city… He knows full well he can make it down to Rhode Island if he has to, but he is such a homebody.

The correspondence continues, over the course of a couple of weeks. Ms. Wellington seems polite, well-spoken and seems most agreeable to meeting within the city should he wish to, and requests a location at which to meet. Upon receipt of that location, then arrangements are made. It's a quiet late afternoon as the city begins the gradual process of shifting from Summer to Autumn. Leaves have begun to fall from the trees in Central Park an the air holds just the tiniest bit of coolness to it that had escaped the Summer.

Ms. Wellington is in her early thirties, a pretty enough woman, though not strikingly so, with large grey eyes and mouse brown hair neatly combe and pinned up in a loose chignon, tendrils framing her face. Her glasses are perched upon her slender straight nose and her skirt and blouse are both neatly pressed, though showing a few signs of wrinkles, like as not from the ride up.

Lindon is himself in his early thirties, tall and lanky. He'd possibly look handsome in his tweedy suit, actually, if he didn't buy off the rack. As is, they don't make a size for him, so the arms on the jacket are a little too short, as are the cuffs at his ankles. His hair is trimmed neatly, and he's a rare academic who has no need for glasses. He awaits her at the train station with a sign that has Wellington written on it, just like he said he would in their correspondence. He doesn't need glasses to have an awkward way about him, casting sidelong glances at people who get too close into his personal space, which is a pretty wide bubble.

The neat and swift click of her heels as she approaches is the first sign of her arrival. Then there's the lift of one hand as she waves when she sees the sign with her name on it. There is a flash of a small smile when she sees him, taking a moment to take in the neat but lanky figure with his too-short jacket and trousers. She doesn't approach too close to his space, seeming observant enough to pick up on his awkwardness even in her approach. "Hello," she says in a voice that is soft, melodic, an poised. "I'm Ms. Wellington. Mr. Mills?" She knows it's him. She's seen him in her vision, of course, but it is polite to ask after all.

Ms. Lindon takes a second to wrap his mind around that. Liberated woman, to be using this honorific, almost certainly unmarried if she's traveling alone. His gaze goes to her left hand incidentally. Not that any of it matters to him, but the mind. It never stops. It tries to pull apart everything it happens upon. "Er, yes. I'm Mr. Mills. Lindon. Lindon Mills." He tucks the sign under one arm and offers his hand to Ms. Wellington. "I'm so glad you could make it, Ms. Wellington." He doesn't even mind using the honorific. He's a modern man. Til it comes to his little sister.

There is no ring on her hand, and no impression that one has ever been there, at least from the smoothness of her skin. She carries herself with confidence, no shy and wilting violet. There's something very businesslike about her. Over one shoulder she carries a satchel that seems to be weighted a bit. Whatever is inside has some heft to it, possibly books from the size and shape. She reaches out to take the hand that is offered and says, "I'm so glad that you agreed to meet with me." She then looks about an says, "Is there somewhere a little less crowded that we might go to talk?"

"Here, let me get that for you," Lindon says as he reaches for the satchel uncertainly. On one hand, she is a lady and he should help her. On the other hand, he's twitchy about people handling his satchel and she might be too. The indecision as he tries to suss out what he should do from too many clues (or too few), plus his height, causes him to hover without meaning to, with no idea what to do with his hands. "Er, we can find a tea shop if you like. One that's not too crowded."

There is a moment where it might seem as though she might withraw an pull the satchel away, but there is something about the offer, an she smiles then, and with a small nod extends it out toward him to take. She is shorter than he by some degree, and he does, loom, somewhat when he hovers like that, but she doesn't seem to mind. "That would be lovely," she says when he offers a nearby tea shop. "I do love a good cup of tea, and I think that would be more comfortable than standing on the platform."

Lindon handles the satchel carefully. Here is a man who knows how to show proper reverence for books, which he just assumes she'll have with her. She seems quite intelligent and eloquent, of course she has books. He's not a strong man by any means, but he shoulders the satchel well enough. "Sure, let's just head out." He schools his stride to walk with her toward the exit. "I hope you don't mind, I brought a driver. He can drop us off at the teahouse." His clothes don't indicate a surplus of money, and yet the town car awaiting them must have surely cost someone a pretty penny.

Mary's steps are quick and precise, much like the rest of her, and she has no trouble keeping up with him as they make their way to the car. She smiles pleasantly and says, "A car is lovely." She even waits while the driver opens the door for her and then settles inside. She allows Lindon to retain the satchel as they settle in. "There are some things in there that I would like to show you, and if after I show you, you have any interest in assisting — I would very much be grateful for your help."

Lindon offers the driver a fleeting smile as the door is opened for him as well. "Er, thanks." He's still getting used to little flashes of opulence that have made their way into his life. "Of course," he says to Mary. "I would say let's go to the house, but I understand if you wouldn't want to go home with a total stranger. I assure you, though, I would never, er, I'm not…" He rakes his hand through his hair and smiles. "Let's have tea. I'll be happy to look at whatever you want to show me."

Danny seems entirely at home with the driver, the car door being opened, and settling in to talk as though the driver weren't there. Clearly, this is something that she has done before. She crosses her ankles and rests her folded hands on her knees as the car pulls away and takes them toward the shop. There's a smile for him then, a quirking of her lips and a slight sparkle in her eyes as she says, "I have no doubt, Mr. Mills, but I think for a first meeting, a public location would be best. You hardly know me either." An while she does not look intimidating in the slightest, one never knows.

The idea that Mary might be intimidating doesn't even occur to Lindon, no. He might not be as modern a man as he thinks he is. The thing is, in a world of magic and mysticism, he of all people should know better. "Of course," he says. He tells the driver of the address of a teahouse that isn't too far from where he lives, and the car heads for a rather nice part of town. Soon, they're there, and the driver is parked at the curb, letting out the lady first, and while he's distracted Lindon lets himself out. "Would you like to sit inside or out?" Lindon asks, going through his mental checklist of things that one is supposed to say.

"Let's go inside," Mary says and then they move to enter the teahouse. Once they are seated at a small table off to one side, with a little space away from the others in the teahouse. She then settels once more, ordering herself a cup of tea and a vanilla scone. She then reaches out for the satchel, and once returned to her, she opens it up and takes out a large book, setting it on the table before them, as well as a sheaf of hand-written notes. "This book, I have found, resonates with a kind of energy. I don't recognize it, but it seems to cause the writing within to shift in a soft of cypher. It's not one that I have been able to crack, but I do have a number of notes on observations that I've made. To be honest, I don't know what the book contains, other than that it belonged to my father. He recently passed away and I have spent a great deal of time since going through the library that has been left in my trust."

Just like that, awkward Lindon is at ease. This? This he understands. A book resonating a kind of energy? So much easier to cope with than picking someone up from the train station. He examines the book carefully, and he admits, "I can't read energy yet, but I've been working on learning how. Do you know what kind? May I open it?" He has no idea if it's warded. Always best to ask, just in case. "Are you a practitioner of the magical arts?" He keeps his voice pitched so as not to carry. Not hard, he's soft-spoken by nature.

Mary nods and she motions for him to go ahead and open it. "It seems to be quite safe. I studied it for some time, and the dreams, those I had long before I began studying the book — I'm certain they are unrelated. Though seeing you, that seems to have been some sort of sign. Perhaps the book wants to be read." The cover is simple, unadorned leather in a wine color. The edges of the pages are gold-gilt. Inside, however, the text on the pages seem to shimmer and shift every twenty seconds or so. The ink shimmers, moves, and the entire passages seem to scroll through and become something new. The energy is unmistakeable. He can feel it in his fingertips if he touches the pages, though it feels nothing more harmful than a sort of static. "It doesn't do anything other than shift the writing," she explains. When he asks if she is a practitioner, she shakes her head. "I'm sensitive to it. I can feel it. And I have dreams.. but I don't actively practice any mystical arts, myself."

Lindon does so, and he hungrily scans the pages, long fingers carefully caressing the paper. "Do your dreams often have a prophetic bent, Ms. Wellington?" Quick eyes catch the shimmering passages, greedy for their words and meaning. His gaze skims with the neatness and swiftness of a speed reader. "Even I can feel the energy coming off of this," he says in low-toned wonder. "I'm sorry for your loss," he murmurs once the fact her father recently died filters in amidst the other intellectual noise.

"On occasion," Mary says as she smiles gratefully as her cup of tea is set in front of her and she wraps her hands around the teacup. "I can't control them. They come and they go, but I can usually tell when they have meaning versus just being… a regular dream." She watches him as he looks over the book. It is a code, clearly, and as he scans through the pages he can tell that the shifting is happening at regular intervals, though he hasn't yet seen a repeating pattern. That doesn't mean there isn't one, merely that in the few minutes that he's been looking, it doesn't seem to have repeated. There is a mix of languages and the letters from the languages, the characters change. Etruscan, Latin, Chinese, Coptic, all intermingled. She smiles softly and inclines her head, "Thank you."

Lindon's tea, a brisk Ceylon, he takes with a spoon of honey carefully applied so nothing sticky gets anywhere near books. "The amount of knowledge one had to have had to to create a cipher like this," Lindon marvels. "Even if it was just to create a spell that makes the cipher up." He glances to the loose papers and asks, "Are these transcriptions?" There's a spark in his dark eyes. When he's got this pinpoint focus, he knows exactly where to put his hands and how to hold himself. "Have you seen the pattern repeat? It's so intricate I…" He has no idea what to say, and hugging the book in public would look strange. "Were you planning on staying in town for awhile, Ms. Wellington?"

"Oh, no," Mary says as she looks at the bits of paper, "Those are just my observations of the book itself." She smiles a little faintly. "I have been unable to figure out the cypher to even know what language it might be in once that has been unlocked, to be honest. But I have observed that approximately every three days, there is a repeating pattern that shows up at both the beginning and end of the book. So it seems, as far as I can tell, that the whole of it is on close to an approximate 72 hour cycle." She then says, "Also the energy, from what I can discern, is unchanged by temperature, exposure to light, etc.. it's all there in my notes there. You're welcome to them." When he asks if she is staying for a while she nods and says, "I had planned to stay for a little while, at any rate, to see if you might make some headway with it."

Lindon says gravely, "Thank you, Ms. Wellington. I'll take a look at what you have, and I'll alter my sleep schedule so that I can follow its cycles. Once we get a full picture, solving the cipher should be…" He looks down at the book, drawing his thumb along the spine with utmost care. "If not easy, then at least possible." He looks up to Mary and half-smiles as he says, "I would understand if you didn't want to, but if you get tired of the hotel, the manor has guest rooms, and I promise you no mischief would come to you there. The wards are secure, and the other person who lives there is discreet."

"I should like that, I think," Mary says with a smile, "If it isn't too much trouble. I'd like to stay nearby in the event that there is some breakthrough with the cipher, or some assistance that I might be able to provide." Her smile is all warmth. "I have no doubt that you will be the picture of a gentleman." She then lifts her cup of tea and takes another delicate sip, nursing it as she allows Lindon his time with the book. "I will leave it in your care, as I have a feeling that no harm will come to it under your observation."

Lindon shakes his head and say, "It's no trouble at all. I hope you don't mind cats? We've got two kittens, but they're no trouble." His demeanor brightens, sitting up a little, smiling at her. He gathers up the book and notes, and he says, "Of course, I'll give it all the care and consideration I'd give any other rare book. Just getting to touch it is an honor, Ms. Wellington. We can head for the house whenever you like. I think Lamont is out tonight, but he'll be back in the morning, so it would just be us."

Mary's smile is brilliant when he mentions the kittens, "Oh, I do like cats. All kinds of animals, really, but cats are especially lovely." She finishes the remainder of her tea and then nods to him. "I think that I should be ready to go, now." With that, she rises from her seat and neatly tucks it back under the table before she allows him to lead the way. "I suppose that we can entertain ourselves then. I brought some other reading material to keep myself occupied while you work. I won't be a bother."

Lindon's smile broadens further. Cats! "I couldn't agree more. Then we'll introduce you to Pyewacket and Athena when we get there. He finishes his tea as well, then gathers the book and notes. "Let's go, yes. There's a library you just might love." The driver is still around, which makes things easier. He leads the way to the car and tells the driver he'd like to go home, and Miss Wellington will be joining him. The driver nods and holds the door open for her. Once they're inside and on their way, Lindon mentions, "The money is all Lamont's. I'm just a librarian."

Mary smiles a soft sort of smile at Lindon once they're in the car and she pats his arm gently, "Oh, it doesn't matter one whit whether you've money or not. I am only interested in that fascinating mind of yours, and what we might discover in that book." She then settles back into the car comfortably for the ride back. "I have a cat of my own back home. Her name is Esther, and she's a lovely Russian Blue. She's staying with my sister while I travel at the moment."

The money Lamont allegedly has must equate to 'a lot' because the house the driver takes them to is a manor, and old Victorian place of stone and brick, with a walled garden and lawn, and a glass-paned conservatory in the back. "Ours are Balinese," Lindon says. "Six months old." He steps out of the car, and the driver holds the door open for Mary, then gathers up her luggage. "Russian blues are so neat," Lindon says. "We got Balinese because my sister in allergic. Balinese carry fewer allergens."

"Oh. Those are very pretty," Mary agrees. She looks to the house and studies it as they make their way toward it with curiosity. Then she nods, "This looks like the place from my dream. I suspect that it was likely the library tthat I saw." This seems to reassure her even more, and she relaxes quite a bit. Slipping from the car, she follows him toward the house. "Well, that's convenient. My sister doesn't have any allergies, thank goodness, or she'd been sneezing up a storm by the time I got back."

"I think it would be too cruel if I had allergies," Lindon says. Into the house they go, and it's lavish yet comfortable, with more stress on comfort than lavish. The driver brings in the luggage, and Lindon tells him, "I think the second floor, west wing, the ivy room." So named for the decoration motif. Tasteful and understated, but a generously sized room with a wardrobe, and a bathroom just across the hall. Near the stairs so getting lost is less likely. Lindon knows the house well. "Shall we retire to the library?" he asks, gesturing for the stairs.

At the top of the second floor landing, two kittens appear. They're just on the cusp of adolescence, still chubby around the belly but getting longer limbs. One of them mews. They hang back, uncertain about this new person, but definitely curious.

"Yes, please," Mary says when Lindon asks if they should retire to the library, seemingly eager to see it in person, to find out if it matches the vision in her dreams. She walks along with her hands folded neatly in front of her, taking in the house only a little bit, enough to watch where her things went off to so that she might find them again, before her attention is wholly on Lindon and the library. When she hears the mew though, she turns and looks up to see the kittens and is entirely distracted. "Oh, lovelies! Look at you." And then she's heading back to the stairs to crouch at the bottom and murmurs, "Aren't you both beautiful."

Lindon watches the kittens as they peer down the stairs. Stranger. But the stranger has crouched. This is the universal for 'come bother me.' They nudge each other, as if daring the other to go first. Finally, the bolder one comes down the stairs cautiously, sniffing. "That's Pye," Linodn observes, "the intrepid one. Athena is more retiring." A nice way of saying coward. She comes down a few steps but waits to see what happens to Pye before she commits to this. Finally the kitten gets close enough to sniff Mary. She passes muster, and the kitten rubs her face against her. All right, they can be friends. This signals Athena to trot down the stairs, mewing as she beelines for Lindon. "There's my girl," he says as he scoops her up. "See, there's nothing to be afraid of." He is, in a word, a sucker. "The library's upstairs," he says. "She should let you pick her up."

"Hello Pye," Mary greets the kitten, letting herself be sniffed and then doling out scritches as appropriate. Once it seems that the kitten will let her, she does in fact scoop her up and hold her close while she waits for Lindon to show the way toward the library. "Lead on," she says cheerfully, now be-catted and delightedly so. She then waves a little at Athena and says, "Hello, pretty one."

The kitten purrs. They're both cuddlemonsters. Athena looks at Mary curiously, but Lindon is 'her' human and she bunts his hand for more pets. "Poor dears have been home all day with no one to give them cuddles," he says, such a sucker. Athena leans out to sniff at Mary. Pye swats at her and she jerks back. Kittens. Lindon leads the way into the library. If it's the one from Mary's vision, then she knows how extensive it is, how many shelves there are, filled with every manner of book, including a generous occult collection (though the truly forbidden tomes are kept elsewhere). There is a comfortable couch, a pair of desks. Lindon deposits Athena onto the couch, and she immediately jumps off and climbs onto the back of the chair belonging to his desk. Pye continues to purr in Mary's arm. "Make yourself at home," Lindon says. "Have a look around, enjoy. I spend my best hours in this library." Uncatted, he deposits the book and notes onto his desk, then ruffles Athena's ears.

When they enter the library, Mary pauses and looks at it in awe. "It is exactly as I imagined it," she breathes. And then she is carrying Pye off directly to one particular set of shelves as she scans it thoughtfully, looking at each of the spines of the books. Her fingertips touch her lips as she reads, and reads, and reads. The kitten is cradled, purring, against her chest where it is warm. There's something soothing about kittens purring, and she can't help but smile. "There's a volume missing," she says thoughtfully and inexplicably as she continues to look at the shelves. "Right here." She points to a spot between a couple of leather-bound volumes. There's no space there, really, no obvious place where a book of similar thickness once was but now isn't.

Lindon comes along with. He doesn't mean to loom, but he's a tall fellow. "So there is," he replies. "I wonder of Lamont has it out for some reason, except…" He looks closer. Except there's no space set aside for it. "Where could it have gone?" he murmurs. It's not like them to not have a complete set. One of the ways Lindon uses his Archival knowledge to cheat is looking for lost tomes so he can do things like complete sets. "I could have sworn we had it," he tells Mary. His brow knits, then he shrugs helplessly. "I'll have to look for it," he decides.

"I saw it, in my dream. The title was right there, between this and that, right here. It was a tight fit, but it was there," she says and then glances around the room as though she might hope to spot it merely out of place on a table or by the sofa or under a chair, but she doesn't seem to, at least not from the furrow in her brow. "I hope it turns up," she says, and then goes back to scritching Pye. "So.. is there anything that I can do to assist.. with the book, that is?"

Lindon looks around as well. Pye remains relaxed in Mary's arms, caring not about books so long as there is scritching. "Do you remember what it was called?" Lindon asks. He gestures toward his desk and heads over there, pulling over a chair so that she can sit with him there. "My goal is to get down all of the symbols in the book," he says, "and chart them. Then I'd like to see if I can find some sort of Rosetta stone in my mind." He pauses, then says, "Perhaps we'll be vague about the details to Lamont. It's not a big deal if I have to dig deep, but he's a worrier. Though it might be nice to have you nearby when I do that."

"I can see it if I just.. concentrate, maybe.." Mary says thoughtfully and closes her eyes. There's a moment where it seems she's just concentrating, her eyes moving back and forth beneath her eyelids, and then she just, slowly, crumples, to the ground, slowly enough that Pye is simply released to hop free before she ends up in a heap on the floor, unmoving. She's very still, so still that one might wonder if she were still breathing at all. But her chest does rise and fall in little shallow breaths.

Pye does so and scampers away. Lindon kneels and says, "Ms. Wellington?" He lays a hand to her brow, and he starts going over everything history has to tell him about what to do when a woman faints. Check for breath, good, good. "Ms. Wellington?" he murmurs. "Mary?" He gathers her up so she's not laying down on the floor, and he brings her to the couch. "Where's Lamont when I need him?" he groans quietly. He leans on Lamont a lot. Too much. He knows what to do. Make sure her airway is open, make her comfortable. He loosens a button on her blouse.

It is when he lays her down on the couch that her eyes suddenly open, but the eyes that look at him are not Mary's eyes. These are alien, strange eyes an electric blue and violet that stare at him from Mary's body. And then she smiles, just a tiny little bit of a smile and a voice that is not Mary's at all says, "You have my book, Mr. Mills, and my messenger. Be a good lad and send her on away in the morning. Tell her you found nothing, would you? I'd hate for something to happen to her." And then with that, Mary slumps once more, lifting a hand to her forehead and blinking, "Oh my, did I faint? I'm so sorry."

Lindon blinks several times. "Wait!" But the entity has already faded and Mary's coming around. Gently, Lindon says, "It's all right, Mary. Tell you what, let's get to work right away, shall we? With what you've got so far, it's possible I could fill in the blanks. We could burn the midnight oil. I can't wait to get started." And be done by morning, if he gets his way.

|ROLL| Lindon +rolls 1d20 for: 11

|ROLL| Lindon +rolls 1d20 for: 18

|ROLL| Lindon +rolls 1d20 for: 12

Once Mary has been securely secured to sleep, Lindon can truly begin his investigation of the book, which begins with attempting to get through the cypher. Lindon begins by looking for patterns, and with intense study he begins to pick up on them. There are dates, latitudes, longitudes, and the cycle of them begins to open itself up to him before his eyes. He makes meticulous notes, absorbed entirely as though possessed by the movements of the writing in front of his eyes.

It takes hours and hours of meticulous notes and careful study. It takes more than one attempt to determine that the cypher must be unlocked by writing out the lock using the symbols found within and placing the paper into the front cover where it is then absorbed. But once he does, the patterns that move all over the book begin to glow and shift, changing before his very eyes as the cypher begins to resolve itself into characters, characters that he can read in languages that he is familiar with.

The book itself is an occult tome that outlines ancient rituals throughout the world, rituals from all manner of different cultures and how they correlate to one another, similarities between them, arranged into categories and cross-referenced with multiple translations and possible outcomes, materials needed and history of those who used them before. It is clearly some sort of a reference manual, and one magically and meticulously kept, but by whom remains a mystery.

Lindon looks like he's slept in his clothes, when he hasn't slept at all. He's been through a pot of coffee, keeping himself awake to do this work. The kittens hung around him at first, but they wandered off to sleep in a pile on a chair when he wasn't good for a lap or a scritch, so intent he was on his work.

"Yes, yes, yes," he murmurs as he starts to transcribe in a quick scrawl what he's reading. Knowing shorthand helps. His hand is a little shaky from weariness, but there's a fire in him. This is knowledge. This is what drives him, what composes him. "I knew you'd crack eventually."

He's the only one home tonight aside from his guest asleep in her room. His shirt sleeves are rolled up, his hair is mussed from running a hand through it, and he's got five o'clock shadow. He's usually neat as a pin, but this is what he's like when he's eleven hours on the trail of something.

There was a knock knock knocking at Lindon's chamber door.
Tis some Brit they uttered.
Just an asshole and nothing more.

John leaned on the door frame and looked up like the mangy mutt he was. He and Lamont have been working at smoothing out years of rough edges. That Lamont finally caved and decided that John wasn't ill omen incarnate (which has yet to be proven one way or the other) he'd at least felt up to task of visiting. "I got a message to be here. So I'm here." Who why or how was irrelevant. He held up a bag completing he reasons, "I brought tacos."

Lindon looks up with a start, and he says, "I'm so sorry, I got sidetracked." His desk looks like a paper bomb exploded. He's got ink on his fingers. Looking at his progress, he starts to gather up the papers he's completed about rituals, and he stacks them to one side. Might as well tidy up a little. "It took me hours to crack this code, but I did it." He pauses, then admits, "I might have caused a poor, innocent woman some trouble." Still, tacos? He looks interested.

He starts transcribing again. It's like he can't stop himself. There's information and he wants copies of it before the book goes back to his kindly guest. Thoughts start racing through his mind. Could John help her? Is that way where madness lies?

The book seems to remain readable to Lindon as he does his transcription. The cypher does not seem to reactivate, at least for the time being. He is able to take down all the notes that he likes from within. The book remains shimmering on the table.

John walked in and looked around giving the air a faint sniff. Nothing seemed too terribly out of the ordinary. That Lindon was almost to a state of ghost writing in a fugue interested him but he didn't interrupt. His trench coat was tossed over the back of a chair and he made a point of not tripping on cats crossing over to take a passing glance a the book. The words 'in trouble' caught up with him and curiously tired eyes were alight with curiosity anew. "Who? Under what circumstance? What did you do, Lindon?" He was starting to understand why masters before him had that tone when he greeted them, 'Well I'm fianlly back'. Huh.

Lindon closes the shimmering book and shuffles some papers over it. Is that the book Lamont treasures so much? The Archive? Lindon steps out from behind his desk, rubbing his hands together. They've lost circulation in all his fervor, a window left open letting in the cold. He goes to close it as he says, "There's an entity in her. It wants me to tell her there was nothing in the book and send her on her way. I'm afraid I might have implied to her that's not necessarily the truth, and I worry what the entity might do."

He finishes drawing the curtain and looks back to John. "Don't go spelunking, or whatever it is you do. It might be that nothing comes of it. I don't know what's in her, but it doesn't seem nice."

Upstairs, Mary continues to sleep, undisturbed, clearly very tired from her long journey, or perhaps there's something keeping her asleep — either way, she hasn't stirred or made a sound since Lindon set her to rest up there.

John listened and arched an eyebrow and it dawned on him that that might be why he was called after all. Was this a test? Lamont knowing but not wanting to tell him and see what he did? See if he'd get involved and do Work in his home with him not there.See how upright he was going to be? Hrmm. A roughened, bruised hand rubbed his unshaven face mulling it over. Finally the fact was there was a woman in distress in his… colleague's home? It won him over and a nod to Lindon was rewarded. "Take me to her." He was resigned at least. It was a working night. He set the beloved bag of tacos down and fetched a glass of water for himself and a toothpick from the cabinet.

Lindon's lips press thin. He glances at his watch. Nng. "She's been asleep for awhile," he admits, "she should be up by now." He wags a finger at John and tells him, "Don't go poking around." Then he heads for the hallway to go to Mary's room. The kittens in their pile on the chair snooze on, though the third one, a newcomer with a snowshoe coat, peers at John with kittenish curiosity outweighed by kittenish sleepiness. He utters a silent 'mew.'

While Lindon approaches Mary's door, then raps slightly and calls, "Mary? Are you awake? It's getting on in the morning, and you'll miss your train."

There's no noise from within the room and when Lindon raps on the door, it swings open slowly. Mary is still in bed as far as he can tell, curled up on her side facing away from them. It's the slight rise and fall of her breath that allows them to know that she is still alive and kicking. She is not, however, waking.

John set his jaw and tilted his head leaning on the door frame. Wasn't supposed to be his problem. If it was a small matter Lamont didn't take care of it? Seemed unlikely with how protective he was of the Archive. He glanced to Lindon. She was still inhabited which meant Lindon didn't know how Did he tell Lamont? Iiiinteresting. This could put Lindon in his back pocket as they say if he was trying to keep the old man from knowing. Relaxed and suddenly interested with altruism he nodded, "Sure, we'll take a crack at it." He sauntered into the room. "Moooorning. Mary is it? And how are we doing?" the Brit inquired with a languid Liverpool in his accent.

Lindon frowns at John as he sails right past and calls out to Mary. "Don't startle her, she's a lady," Lindon frets. He follows after, and though he doesn't try to loom, he can't really help it. He looms as he gives her shoulder a gentle shake. "Mary? You'll miss your train." He gives John a dubious look. "Don't startle her," he warns again.

Eventually, between the two of them, they manage to get Mary to wake up. Her eyes flutter open and then she does, in fact, startle, and press a hand to her chest as she looks at the two men then notices the time of day, "My train!" She then moves to get up, and then she sits back down, a hand to her head, "Did you unlock the book?"

Lindon pauses. Then he says, quietly, "No. I'm sorry. There are certain missing elements in the code and, without them, I can't crack it." He smiles at her kindly, with a note of apology. "But let us keep in touch, yeah? In case I come up with anything. No reason we can't take another crack at it later. I'll just, uh, I'll get the book while you get ready for your train. I'm sorry I couldn't do more. This is John, he's a friend of mine. We'll let you get ready."

|ROLL| Lindon +rolls 1d20 for: 3

|ROLL| Danny +rolls 1d20 for: 19

|ROLL| Triton +rolls 1d20 for: 2

John looked to Lindon aghast, aghast I tell you! His eyes were on Mary though in a very clinical aspect. So many small details he was looking for: markings, pallid skin, skin texture, pupil dilation, iris colour, fingernails, abnormal change in body mass, timbre of voice, head spinning around, and even pea soup if it came to that. He was going to lie to her but really he was far too curious and flat out broke his own lie with the truth. "No… but yes, luv. There's more to do. You do tea? I'm going to put some on."

Mary frowns a little bit when Lindon says that there were things missing and that he was unable to unlock the code. She also looks a little bit suspicious. Following him with her eyes, she then turns to look over at John and she frowns, then she lifts both eyebrows. "Who are you now, and dwhat are you doing here? Are you a friend of Mr. Mills? An what are you doing in my room?" She reaches down to make sure that she's at least a little bit more ''sheveled'' before trying to get out of the bed.

Lindon glances to John and says, wryly, "Sure, help yourself." He looks to Mary, then avert his eyes, because a lady is not yet dressed. "He's a friend of mine, and he's.. he's very good at what he does. He's a little unconventional. We'll let you get dressed and meet in the parlor?" He chances another glance at her. "There's more to it than what I've told you. I promise everything will be clear soon." Damn whatever's inside her, probably listening, forcing him to be oblique.

Constantine watched every. little. detail. He watched like a hawk eyeing quarry but made no further action still trying to get an identification on the scope of this thing. he did, politely, look away at least to keep the ruse and said with all of the airs of the con man he was, "We wished to look in on youand see if you wished to join us. I am so terribly sorry if that was rude. My many apologies, Miss." Wow he was really convincing when he wanted to be. If only he could be convinced to pretend that he had common decency all the time, wouldn't that be a trick. Stepping back into the living room he paced faintly. Apparently by 'I'm making tea' he still meant Lindon. he chewed at a thumbnail thoughtfully. "We're gonna need a jar at the very least. Things. You're right, mate, this is bigger than your flat. we should head back to mine. There's things there."

All in all, Mary seems confuses by the entire situation, and more than a little suspicious, but once both men are out of the room, she goes about getting herself together, gathering her things, and with one last check that she hadn't left anything behind, she makes her way down to the parlor to join them and waits for Lindon to return with her book.

Lindon eyes John again when it's clear who's making the tea around here. He goes to do so with a shake of his head. It's no trouble, and he toasts some bread, putting butter and jam on the tray in little pots so Mary can have a little something to break her fast. Tea is prepared by the time she gets there, and Lindon has the book as he enters the parlor from going to fetch it. In his other hand he has a lidded mason jar, which he offers to the man. He was going to put decorative legumes in it, but he'll donate it to the cause and this is why friends who are flaming as a blowtorch are good to have around. "I'm sorry about all of this," he tells Mary. He doesn't offer the book over immediately. Instead, he says, "I made a discovery last night and I'm not sure how to tell you about it." Hey, you're possessed, have some toast. Not Lindon's style.

|ROLL| Constantine +rolls 1d20 for: 13

Lindon wouldn't lie to her face but John would. Hell he was happy to! He even smiled and asked her with all of the charm of one of those fancy and reliable encyclopedia salesmen, "It's quite extraordinary really. I don't suppose you could, by chance share where you found such an amazing volume?" He pulled out a business card and it was no slight of hand but as simple to him, a glamour that transposed the text on his identification. "I actually work for the New York branch of the Library of Congress. We do appreciate stories of the etymology of such unique acquisition."

"I inherited the volume," Mary says, glancing toward Lindon. She'd already told him how she'd come by the book. "And I am afraid that I am going to miss my train if I don't depart shortly, so while I would normally love to stay for tea — I think that it's time that I be going." Though she does pause when Lindon says that he made a discovery. "What sort of discovery?" she asks. Her things are gathered, packed, and she is dressed as neatly as she was the night before.

Lindon puts on the kettle, then he comes back to lean in the doorway. His features are an open book, all concern and uncertainty. "Mary, I did crack the code, but there's a complication, and I want to tell you all about it, but if I do, something bad might happen, and I don't want it to happen here. The wards are like dobermans." He glance to John. "And I know that it's more than I know how to handle."

Constantine paused and leaned forward curious staring at her eyes, though at a distance. "Sorry, luv. You do have the most brilliant eye colour. Reminds me of someone I remember. We'll let you get ready." He stood up and smiled turning to Lindon with a bright, winning smile. "SHall we?" As made his way out of the room to give a look to LIndin suggesting they have a bit to talk about while they wait.

"I'm ready," Mary says, after all, she'd just gotten ready, and come down, and is standing there awaiting her book so that she can go to her train, and neither of the two of them are particularly good at subtle. "If you did crack the code, then did you find out what was in the book? And what bad might happen?" There's another frown as they seem to be about to go off to talk without her. "I would kindly request that you return my father's book if you are unwilling to discuss it with me."

Lindon glances at John, then at Mary. He doesn't head off to talk without her. Rather, he comes to her side and says, "I have copies of everything I found. I'll go fetch them in a moment, along with the book. Mary, do you remember when you fainted the other day? And I brought you to the couch?" Those big brown eyes are so sincere, poor awkward thing. He glances to John again, making sure he can hear this. It'll keep them all on the same page.

Constantine swung past Lindon and whispered in his ear "There's nothing IN her mate. I looked." But he passed his shoudler and continued onto the kitchen to help himself. What? It was part of the 'blending in' thing. The fridge opened, the cutlery drawer. Doo dee doo…

It's clear that Mary is upset, and that the continued dodginess only makes her moreso. However, she likes Lindon. Lindon is polite and proper and they had lovely conversations. And so she tries to hold her cool. "Yes, I remember. It was quite embarassing, but I appreciate that you saw to my comfort rather than letting me lie there on the floor." There is a faint smile that touches her lips then, but it does nothing to remove the concern that is there. John. John is suspicious, and she continues to study him and his whispering.

Lindon eyes John again, and what he says seems to ease Lindon up some. There's nothing in her? That's good! Still, he feels compelled to tell Mary, "You spoke to me, only the voice wassn't yours, and you warned me to say nothing, do nothing, return the book to you in the morning, and tell you I found nothing. You referred to yourself as your messenger. I could have sworn there was another presence within you. I've been less than truthful in an attempt to protect you in case it came back." There, Con. See why he thought so? "Of course I had no right to lie to you, and I'll bring the book and copies of what I found immediately. It was an honor to work on the project."

Constantine fired up the stove and called out, "Lindon! You have everything to make a decent scone. Why didn't you tell me? Mary, tell him to stop being such a stick?" He let Lindon go on and on about crazy weird things. The sound of eggs cracking could be heard while he hummed something that was brazenly rock n roll. He claled back, "She's fiiiiine, Lindon. Mary, luv, you take blueberries in yours?"

There's a slight widening of Mary's eyes when Lindon begins to confide in her what happened. She looks a bit shocked, to be honest, and her hand goes up to flutter a little over her heart. "I did what?" Then she frowns. "I have no idea what that might be. I've.. fainted before, but I had no idea." Suddenly, it seems like she understands why they've been acting so dodgy. "Well no wonder you were upset and not telling me things if you thought something was inside me." Then she sits down heavily in the nearest chair with a plop. Train forgotten. "Are you certain there's nothing there? Is it gone?" and then slightly distractedly, "I like blueberries."

Lindon holds out a hand reflexively to help her down to the chair. Sitting beside her, he says, "John's got quite a bit of experience with that sort of thing. We're perfectly safe though, I think. I think. There's a ward in the house that will attack any evil entity that gets loose. Maybe it's hypnosis." He then calls to Constantine, "I didn't know you were going to want to make scones, but thank you."

|ROLL| Lindon +rolls 1d20 for: 18

Constantine popped his head from the kitchen with a winning grin. Dammit he was a charmer when he tried, "I agree. Blueberries it is. Check my jacket pocket on the chair by you. Lapel pocket. Dead certain you're alright." Inside that lapel pocket, his business card case with his infameous business card in there with his credentials, but also phone number.

Mary reaches into the pocket of John's coat which is pretty dangerous considering what all he might have in there if you choose the wrong one. She finds the card that he mentions and she sits down to read it, and reads, and reads, and then she looks up at Lindon and toward the kitchen. Train forgotten. "So I didn't bring anything evil in here, did I?" she asks, as though afraid that she'd made a mess on the rug.

Lindon shakes his head and says, "No, I don't so. It's possible someone scryed through you remotely. They wouldn't have been here any more than someone using a phone to call the house would be." He eyes the card Mary's taken, and then toward the kitchen where John is. "Let me get the book and your notes," he says gently. Meanwhile, a kitten that was hiding when Mary first arrived peeks out from under the couch and comes over. He's a snowshoe Balinese, cream and brown. His collar says 'Puck.' He comes sniffing at Mary's feet curiously. Lindon lifts him to her lap and says, "Do you think you can keep this little guy out of trouble for a little bit?" The kitten purrs.

Constantine was in a good mood after all that. He brought the blueberry scones out on a plate and carried a smaller stack of plates with it. Set it down and handed her one, set one out for LIndon, and then helped himself. Biting into the pastry that was still too warm he muttered. "Eh, juff' me" said he around the scone. But hey an easy smile meant everything was fine right? The wink might have been forward, but he wasn't reknown for propriety. He dropped in his own seat and gave Puck a funny look when the cat regarded him first. The cat totally started it!

When the cat is placed in her lap, Mary pets it absently and plays with the kitten because that is what one does, and she's a little on auto-pilot and distracted at the moment. When the scones arrive, she takes one and holds it up to blow on it gingerly before she starts eating it. When John winks at her she kind of stares at him, entirely unsure what to make of him. But he did bring her a scone so she offers him a bit of a weak smile.

Lindon isn't gone terribly long. He returns with the book Mary's loaned him and a file folder containing a copy of all the notes he wrote out. All the rituals, highlights, and a few sketches. "Here," he says gently, and he retakes his seat, trading kitten for book and notes. The kitten purrs and purrs, and gives John another smug look. Lindon scritches the kitten, then sets him down. The kitten hops right back up on his lap. "I found a lot of fascinating stuff," he tells Mary. I worry about whoever might be phoning in using you. I'm not sure exactly how I'd get one, but a charm of protection might be in order." He looks at John. "Do things like that exist?"

Constantine nodded slowly. Either that was a very good scone or yes there are. Maybe both. He was almost too non-chalont about this sort of thing. He hrmmmed, "Had I a better idea of what *exactly* was using her as a speaker box we could sort her out. But yeah. Score of things I can manage to keep various beasties from bothering her." He loked to Mary with an apologetic look. "Been there. Nasty business. We can manage it. Sounds absolutely mental doesn't it? Come by that address in teh morning and I'll have something you can take with you."

"And of course you may stay another night here," Lindon says. He smiles softly and says. "We can go over what I found, and you'll be safe here." The kitten nibbles on his finger while he tries to look competent, and he mutter,s "Ow, kitty, no." So manly. "Anyway, whatever you want to do, Mary. We're here for you."

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